He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman He who works with his hands and his mind and his heart is an artist

~ St Francis of Assisi

Monday, January 16, 2012

Faux paint and murals

    Painting sort of fell in my lap, so to speak, prior to retiring from teaching. now we're talking walls painting not canvases. A friend of the family wanted some painting done & she had a leather look in mind for her dining room. For some reason, I was intrigued with faux painting ..actually painting my bathroom vanity top to look like marble, so I had quite a few books to get ideas . She had more faith in me than I did at the time. Doing that kind of painting can be great.....or a disaster!!!
 After some research, the "smooshing" technique seemed to be the one I wanted to use for this faux look. now the problem with this ..or most faux painting techniques is that it has to be done pretty fast, even though a glaze gives you an extended time ..........however, when you are trying to get a whole wall done at one time you really have to be FAST!!!
  Smooshing requires placing plastic over the tinted glaze, pressing it to the wall and then removing it. The wrinkles and folds of the plastic create that leather look. Luckily the dining room was fairly small , so I could roll the glaze, then get the plastic on pretty quickly. 
  A butter yellow eggshell paint was used as the base with the glaze tinted with hitching Post ( Shermin Wms )
   My next foray was a bathroom (for 3 brothers) who wanted some kind of underwater theme. As if figuring out what to do wasn't enough of a problem, I had to take wallpaper off first ( I could strangle the inventor of wallpaper!!!) Which then required an oil based primer....this was a tiny bathroom, with no vent , nor would the window open. When I got dizzy getting up on the stepstool, I knew I needed fresh air!!
 For murals that have to do with kids, I check out the kids book section in BAM. I'm the kind of painter that has to have an image to go by, even though I'll put my spin on it. Graeme Base's book Sign of the Seahorse was the perfect springboard for images. All three boys played musical instruments, so the Seahorse Cafe was reinvented for the "Clark Trio" with fish playing the instruments that the boys played. The lobsters suddenly became members of a band, marching across the shower ( with colors of the high school ). Snails riding skateboards formed the border of the mirror. Here are a few photos of the finished product:

   The 2 younger boys liked this so much that I had to create " new" planets to form the border of of his bedroom. The youngest wanted music notes as his border & for his headboard, I created a stick jazz band with modernized instruments.
 There are times I feel like Eldon on Murphy Brown....who came to paint one small room and stayed for the rest of the seasons continually working on other "artwork"  LOL
  A friend's daughter was expecting a little boy & she wanted a little bit of painting done for the nursery. There wasn't a lot of wall space between baby furniture, closet, windows & door. The older daughter loved monkeys, so there had to be a monkey in it. Soooo, it had a slight jungle look.

These were painted on either side of the closet

Crafty Christmas & Phototransfers Galore!!!

     It's taken me this long to recoup from my " Crafty Christmas".....I now remember why I don't usually give gifts I make for Christmas presents!!! It doesn't help being a procrastinator by heart :-)
    Every Christmas I go to Lexington for " Friend's Christmas". There are 4 of us that are extremely close...... we exchange presents & have a wonderful meal. I got the well, at the time I thought brilliant idea to make them all ornaments of their pets. I should mention now that this involved a number of pets...including 2 that were dead. I had the living room floor covered with pics of them ...as I'm a Photoshop newbie, getting them the dimensions I needed for the ornaments was sort of trial and  error..EXTREMELY trial and error..LOL These were done on vellum so the image showed thru on both sides...which was sooo handy for a glass ornament where all sides show. in a weak moment I also decided to do a few phototransfers of a few of the pets & frame them from my huge stash of antique frames. I finally got into a rythm until I ran out of ink..GRRRRRRRRR....Sooooo, off to Staples I went. Just remember NO ONE ever said craft projects were cheap!!!
   Since I was now on a roll with the phototransfering, I did 2 each for friends that have become " adopted g'mothers of friend's small daughters. This took more expertise than the previous transfers, since I was using antique postcard images & had to replace the faces & get skin tones to match . While I was just cruising with the copying, working with Photoshop was a definite challenge!!!! There were a lot of unmentionable words said during the editing process.
   I have a bad habit of not getting pics of any of my projects....but one of the recipients took pics for me. Their  room gets quite a bit of light, they look more faded than they really are.
 The first image has Zoe holding onto a star & flaoting in the clouds.
This image has Scout being suspended in a bundle and held by a swallow.

This was made just this week for a couple at church & their first great grandchild. I used a variety of silk ribbon and ribbon yarn to decorate the edges of the frames. Luckily I had the perfect colors to match the muted pink, purple & green in the image. 

      I used the freezer paper method of transfering a photo to muslin, which worked fairly well. I only got the paper with fabric hung up in the printer a "few" times. I was just glad my printer ( inkjet)still worked after I had gotten them all done   This seemed to be a much easier method...not as much mess, although I wonder if the colors would have come out a little brighter. I don't mind the muted colors, since it's "supposed" to have a vintage look.

Scottish Shrine.....Soul's Journey

     As the name of my blog tells all...I am obsessed with Scotland, which manifested itself after a 12 day trip to all parts of the country. My ancesters came from Scotland and I truly felt like I had "come home" . I had bits and pieces( plus small stones I had snuck in my luggage..LOL) from my trip there plus loads of pics but I really wanted to do something special to commemorate the trip.
    I ran across an antique lamp in one of my junking travels, instead of glass it had mica but one panel was missing....I didn't really care since I saw it as a platform for some kind of shrine. It sat around for awhile before I could determine what I really wanted to do with it. During this time, I decided I needed Photoshop since I had been bookmarking all sorts of antique & vintage images ......not that I  knew what I was going to do with them, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time..LOL Just another example of my hoarding . One never knows when something will be needed!!
   Along with the lamp, I also came across a Scottish dancer & bagpipe player pins that I thought could be used in either a necklace or shrine. While collecting a myriad of odd pieces, I also became interested in putting patinas on objects...to take the "shine" off of them. I ran across Modern Masters patinas on the web & found that the Porter Paints in my town had theirs ON SALE!! Whooooohoooooo. I had died and gone to heaven!! Anything that wasn't tied down got a patina for awhile...LOL///along with my dancer & bagpiper.

  Since I multitask ( not well at times, but I try) I also was trying to figure out Photoshop ( it's still an ongoing process) I worked on a collage of images that reflected Scotland. Finally getting one that I was satisfied with, I got to work on a shrine. Antique door parts got used, a compass, my stones I had collected while I was there...This is the final product

I was very pleased with the overall look of the shrine. I found the Celtic words for Soul's Journey & that's put into the door lock. Inside is my version of a Celtic cross....with door parts & a clock part. The image attached is for the trip to the isle of Iona ( where Christianity was brought to Scotland)